One of the most rewarding parts of working in this industry is doing business with the same people for decades. Love this recent write-up from our old friends at K&L Wines:
We were happy to see lots of reviews of Amici wines during the month of August:
• 2012 Amici Cellars Sauvignon Blanc — “Made from warm climate fruit that offers both richness and complexity, the sauvignon musqué spent most of its time in stainless steel, although some of it saw some oak and a percentage also underwent malolactic fermentation. It has a grassy nose and treats the drinker to lovely lemon zest and stone fruit on the lengthy finish.” – Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register, 8/15/13
• 2010 Amici Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — “Wine Pick of the Week. We found it dense in flavor and not yet yielding the subtlety and nuance it will show will show with a little more age. Dark fruit predominates—Santa Rosa plums, blackberries and black cherries with just a bit of cassis. There are also some licorice and light chocolate notes in the background. At $45, this is a relative bargain for quality Napa Valley Cabernet.” – http://www.tastecaliforniatravel.com, 8/26/13
• 2010 Amici Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — “If anyone knows how to treat Rutherford Bench fruit, it’s Joel Aiken. Here’s a wine you can enjoy now or lay down for up to 10 years. After impressing with a gorgeous perfumy nose, the wine displays layers of fruit on the palate, most notably plums and black cherries. It’s still a baby and a real bargain for Napa Valley cab.” – Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register, 8/15/13
• 2010 Amici Cellars Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (September 2013 release) — “The majority of the fruit for this exceptional blend came from Rutherford, with a bit of spice and backbone credited to grapes harvested up on Spring Mountain. With layers and layers of flavor and the finesse that a seasoned winemaker can coax out of a harvest, this reserve has a lot to offer, from mocha to intense flavors of black cherries and blackberries.” – Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register, 8/15/13
• 2009 Amici Cellars Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon — “This has both length and depth, a 100 percent cabernet from the dust of the Morisoli tract in Rutherford. It’s the most intense of the cabs tasted from this brand, having spent two years to date in bottle. It should age well for a couple of decades. There’s a gorgeous nose of black fruit, followed by a full mouth of black fruit and black olives —an earthy, well-rounded cab for the aficionados.” – Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register, 8/15/13
2012 Olema Chardonnay Sonoma County Valley – Beverage Dynamics: “This approachable chardonnay was fermented half in oak and half in stainless steel, giving the wine a crisp and refreshing acidity; apple and citrus notes balance the wine and bring a creamy quality to the finish. 91 Points”
2010 Olema Chardonnay Sonoma County Valley – Wine Spectator: “The citrus, nectarine and lemon notes are refreshing, smooth and balanced. Details of spice crescendo on the finish. Drink now through 2018.”
We were lucky enough to be profiled by journalist Kort van Bronkhorst in today’s Napa Valley Register, who wrote on Amici’s experience at Premiere this year:
Notable reviews of Amici wines during the month of January:
2009 Amici Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Restaurant Wine: “Very fine quality. Luscious and complex, this is an excellent wine: very ripely flavored (cassis, black licorice, plum jam), smooth and long on the palate, with a very persistent finish. Delicious. 4+ stars.”
2009 Amici Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – Restaurant Wine: “Full bodied and fairly rich, this is an intensely flavored Cabernet with cassis, blackberry, cooked meat and spicy aromas/flavors, and a long, moderately tannic finish. An excellent wine and a fine value. (4 stars)”
Olema 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County – Restaurant Wine: “Excellent: supple in texture, full bodied, and long on the palate; a Cabernet with moderate richness, good balance, and a smooth finish, tasting of blackberry, toast, pepper, cherry, and sage. (4 stars)”
Olema 2010 Chardonnay Sonoma County – Restaurant Wine: “Fairly complex in style; a Chardonnay that is full bodied, softly textured, lightly oaky, and long on the finish. It tastes of ripe fruit (pear, apple), toast, oak, honey, and grapefruit. 50% aged in oak barrels. (4 stars)”
December was a busy month for Amici wine reviews as critics published their “Best of the Year” lists. Of course, we’re thrilled by every mention we got and are grateful to all of those reviewers for taking the time to taste our wines. Some of the highlights:
2009 Amici Morisoli Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 Points, Wine Enthusiast Best of the Year Buying Guide: “Another successful Cabernet from Amici, who turns to this esteemed vineyard for sourcing. It shows real pedigree and finesse, and it’s instantly appealing for its soft tannins and complex cherry, red currant, cocoa and spice flavors. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s Amici’s best Cabernet of the vintage, and this is as upscale as Napa Cabernet gets.”
2009 Amici Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – 94 Points, Wine Enthusiast Best of the Year Buying Guide: “This 100% Cabernet is soft, rich, fruity and almost sweet in ripe, jammy blackberry and cherry flavors… The acidity is firm and mouthwatering, and the tannins are wonderful. Drink now-2015.”
2009 Amici Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine: “This wine is deep in cassis and tobacco-tinged fruit and hints at dusty soils from first to last. Its evident ripeness is never an issue or concern because the finely focused fruit stays the course and brings good balance and youthful energy to the insistent flavors. Supple in its texture in a way that belies its solid, tannin-firmed underbelly, it is a wine that is going to last for years to come even if capable of pleasing in the here now.”
2011 Amici Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley – Wine Enthusiast: “Tart, clean and juicy, this has ripe flavors of apricot, citrus, tropical fruit and spice. With zesty acidity, it feels basically dry, despite the honeyed finish. A touch of oak lends vanilla and smoke notes.”
2011 Amici Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley – Wine Spectator: “Touches of fresh herb highlight the crisp, juicy citrus, apple and pear flavors that lead to a refreshing finish. Drink now.” – M.W.
We’re thrilled that the 2009 Amici Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was included in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s list of “Holiday Cabernets Worth the Splurge”!
To help us out in the midst of this party season, online magazine 7×7 offers its 7×7 Wine Pairings for Holiday Events. We’re happy to be included in this list of wines to enjoy with your friends this holiday season!
Some of the notable reviews Amici wines received during the month of November:
2009 Amici Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Wine Spectator: “Firm, concentrated and well-built, with a tight band of cedar, dried berry, black licorice and crushed rock. Ends with good length and depth. Drink now through 2022.” – J.L.
2009 Amici Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Wine Spectator: “Aromas of ripe berry and crushed rock are both supple and firm, turning graceful and refined on the finish while maintaining focus. Drink now through 2020.” – J.L.
2009 Amici Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – 92 Points, WineReviewsOnline.com, “Amici is the new venture of Joel Aiken, the respected and well-liked winemaker who spent the most recent decades of his career at Beaulieu Vineyards as the keeper of the flame of the Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. This Amici Cab – one of several that has just been released – is a lean, spicy, minerally mountain Cab with very good concentration of fresh, ripe (but not overripe), dark berry fruit with accents of fresh herbs and lovely definition.”
Best quote from Joel in today’s Terroirist interview: “It’s easy to make a 16% alcohol, low acid wine that people like with the first sip, but these wines are boring to me and lose their appeal after about half a glass. The best wines I have experienced all needed some time in the bottle and glass to show their greatness.”